Updated: Dish TV to Launch WTAP Stations June 4

Updated: June 3, 2010 2:41pm

A day that many folks in the Mid-Ohio Valley have been waiting many years for, is almost here.

This Friday, June 4, two of WTAP’s television stations will begin being offered on DISH satellite.

WTAP has learned that the stations will be carried on a DISH satellite designated as “129.” That number coincides with the satellite’s southwestern position in the sky.

We have also learned that our NBC station will be carried on DISH channel 15 … while our FOX Parkersburg station will be carried on DISH channel 49.

DISH also tells WTAP that DISH customers will be notified of this availability by e-mail and by eNewsletter. Information will also be available on DISH’s website.

Customers who already have distant NBC or FOX service thru DISH or All-America Direct, will need to contact DISH and request a change to local service.

This new service is only available to DISH customers within WTAP’s official television market area, which includes Wood, Washington and Pleasants counties.

There is still no word on when or if DirecTV might offer any similar service.

If you live in an area where cable is not available or if you are otherwise interested in this service from DISH, it is recommended that you contact your local DISH dealers, including Digisat in South Parkersburg … and … Shadix Radio & TV in Marietta.
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Satellite “129” is where DISH has many of its HD channels. If you are already a subscriber to DISH’s HD tier, you may not need any change of equipment to pick up WTAP’s NBC or FOX Parkersburg stations. DISH is NOT offering WTAP’s NBC or FOX Parkersburg stations in High Definition yet, even though WTAP is providing those signals to DISH in HD. DISH says it may offer the local stations in HD at some point in the future.

If you are NOT a subscriber to DISH’s HD tier, you may need a new satellite dish at your location to pick up satellite “129.” Contact DISH for details.

If you are receiving distant ABC and CBS stations through DISH, and want to continue receiving those distant signals after you activate WTAP’s NBC and FOX Parkersburg stations, your ABC and CBS stations will come from Clarksburg, WV, rather than whatever city they may be coming from now. This is an FCC decision.

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Dish Network, a nationwide deliverer of television signals for home and out-of-home viewing, will begin carrying two local television stations starting June 3rd.

Dish will begin offering WTAP’s NBC and FOX Parkersburg stations on that date, it was announced today at a meeting of Dish dealers in Dallas, TX.

Dish informed WTAP earlier this year that it intended to begin offering the two stations anytime after a 60-day period expired. That 60 days has now expired.

The path for the launch of the two stations was cleared by the recent passage in Congress of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 (STELA), which granted satellite operators several long-sought concessions they had been seeking. Those concessions allow satellite operators more latitude in determining which distant stations they can offer to communities that do not have certain affiliates.

In statement issued today, Dish Network said it "congratulates Congress on passing the landmark Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010, clearing the way for DISH Network to become the first pay-TV provider to make local broadcast stations available in every television market in the United States."

Contacted today, a spokeswoman for Dish confirmed that Dish will begin carrying WTAP’s NBC and FOX Parkersburg stations for its customers in Wood, Washington and Pleasants counties only. She could not say what channel numbers the stations would be on.

She also indicated that Dish will be offering out-of-market CBS and ABC stations, but would not say which stations or from which markets they will come.

“We are very much looking forward to June 3,” said WTAP’s vice president and general manager, Roger Sheppard. “Most TV stations across the U.S. are already on satellite. But about two dozen stations, located in the nation’s smallest markets, have been waiting for several years for this news.”

WTAP operates three television stations – an NBC affiliate, FOX Parkersburg, and My5 which is an affiliate of MyNetwork. Dish is not planning to carry My5 at this time.

WTAP has a standing agreement with DirecTV that would allow that satellite company to also carry any or all of WTAP’s stations on satellite. But so far, there has been no word from DirecTV on when or if it might offer such carriage.


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